Why: Great Migration, Big 5, scenery and indigenous culture
The Maasai Mara is one of the most spectacular and beautiful locations on Earth and home to indigenous Maasai communities. Golden sunsets bathe the quintessential African landscape of rolling savannah grasslands in a stunning flame-hued glow that you'll struggle to get out of your mind once you've left. The Maasai Mara reserve welcomes wildebeest migration each year when millions of animals follow the wildebeest through the area from July onwards, resulting in an abundant collection of wildlife. View lions, hyena, cheetah, baboons, crocodiles, hippo, gazelle, zebra, impala...the list goes on. You are considered unlucky if you don't spy most of the Big 5 animals in an extended stay.
Recommended accommodation: Angama Safari Camp- This exclusive-use safari camp falls right in the heart of the action during migration season and has the same iconic style and service as Angama Mara. As a proud ‘True Blue’ partner we can offer our clients exclusive benefits.
2. TANZANIA, SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK RESERVES
Why: Great Migration and exclusive safari experiences
Easily one of Africa's most famous national parks, the Serengeti holds the highest concentration of mammals on earth on its endless savannah grasslands. Bordering the Serengeti are a number of private reserves that offer the same iconic landscapes and wildlife but with exclusive experiences such as off-road viewing, night drives and walks - experiences not permitted in the national park. These private reserves and concessions also practice low-impact tourism and conservation of the wildlands, wildlife and local communities.
Recommended accommodation: Mila Tented Camp - Offering stunning views, Mila Tented Camp overlooks the vast Serengeti from its place atop an elevated ridge. With only 5 tented suites and 1 family tented suite, this small and intimate camp is great for multi-generational families.
3. RWANDA - VOLCANOES AND AKAGERA NATIONAL PARKS
Why: Gorillas and Big 5 game viewing in one country
Renowned for its specialist gorilla trekking adventures, Rwanda has long been integrated into epic wildlife travel itineraries alongside the classic 'Big Five' East African safari spots, Kenya and Tanzania. Now, thanks to the recently opened Wilderness Safari's Magashi Camp in Akagera National Park, international travelers can look within the country's borders in search of these iconic game animals. Visitors will be immersed in jaw-dropping landscapes from volcanoes and lush rainforest, to emerald green lakes and vast grasslands.
Recommended accommodation: Magashi Camp - Overlooking the beautiful Lake Rwanyakazinga in Rwanda's diverse Akagera National Park, Magashi Camp offers luxury accommodation in one of the most scenic savannahs in East Africa and can be seamlessly combined with gorilla trekking.
4. SOUTH AFRICA, SABI SANDS GAME RESERVE
Why: Renowned location and Big 5 game viewing
Undeniably one of the leading private game reserves in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. The 63,000 hectare Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is one of the richest wildlife areas on the African continent and is known for incredible close encounters with an array of animals, particularly the safari 'Big 5'. It's also one of the best locations in the world to catch sight of the notoriously elusive leopard, which are so relaxed in the reserve that you often see them mere meters from your vehicle! Sabi Sands arguably boasts the best luxury accommodation and game viewing in southern Africa.
Recommended accommodation:andBeyond Tengile River Lodge - This ultra-luxe safari lodge situated on a bend of the Sand River, with sweeping views from every vantage point, was built with an extremely light footprint. An exclusive and elegant safari haven meaning 'tranquil' in the local language, Tengile boasts magnificent accommodation and superb service and guiding.
5. BOTSWANA, OKAVANGO DELTA
Why: Wetland experience, concentrated wildlife and unparalleled exclusivity.
The Okavango Delta is the world's largest inland Delta created by crystal-clear filtered waters from the Okavango River flowing into the arid Kalahari Desert and offers an unparalleled water-based safari adventure. This UNESCO World Heritage site has large populations of lions, cheetah, leopards, antelope, African wild dogs, hippos plus the biggest concentration of elephant and buffalo in this part of Africa. The waters of the Delta tempt visitors with a range of exciting ways to explore, like a traditional mokoro (a dugout canoe). Botswana has a strict low-impact tourism policy and as a result there are relatively few lodges within the conservation areas, offering exclusive wildlife experiences.
Recommended accommodation: Duba Plains Camp- with thousands of animals in a matrix of palm-dotted islands, flood plains, and woodland, Duba Plains is a wildlife connoisseur's getaway in the heart of the Okavango Delta.
6. ZIMBABWE, HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
Why: Elephants, African wild dogs and authenticity
Best known for its majestic Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe has so much more to offer as an authentic, rugged destination delivering superb game viewing in the care of some of the most respected guides in the business. Hwange National Park is one of the most renowned safari destinations and has an impressive range of habitats from woodlands to grasslands and scrub that support a vast diversity of wildlife. The park has one of the largest elephant populations in the world, with herds in their hundreds gathering around the waterholes. Known also for one of the best surviving populations of the rare African wild dog - a real drawcard for veteran safari visitors.
Recommended accommodation: Somalisa Camp- An intimate, luxury bush camp providing guests with breathtaking views of the golden savannah plains of Hwange. Sip a G&T while gazing out over a herd of elephants mere meters away from your deck.